Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Essence of Great Leadership

Some leaders can have a meeting or retreat with their executive team over an eight hour period and basically give a state of affairs of that organization, what strategies they believe are key to the success of the organization and of what to improve and how. And yet they don't look at the critical pieces to this puzzle which are the people who will be implementing the change and how.

"Leadership for today's world requires enlarging one's capacity to see the whole board as in a chess match - to see the complex, often volatile interdependence among the multiple systems that constitute the new commons." - Leadership Can be Taught, by Sharon Daloz Parks

Great leaders play chess rather than checkers with their people. They understand that all the pieces move differently, that people aren't motivated by the same things, or learn in the same way. Great leaders discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it. They must play a unique role. to rally people toward a better future. They instigate. They are driven by their compulsion for a better future and do everything in their power to get other people to come together to make this future come true.

By definition they’ll be successful in leading only when they find a way to make many people, regardless of each person's uniqueness, excited by and confident in this better, shared future. That is the essence of great leadership.

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